SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen says its new communications system is now ready.
Allen, "in a recent visit to General Dynamics C4 Systems, said the Rescue 21 program is operationally ready. Rescue 21 is now the Coast Guard's primary command, control and communication system and is effectively locating vessels in distress and helping the Coast Guard rescue mariners in the regions in which it is deployed," General Dynamics said in a statement late last month.
"During his visit to General Dynamics, Admiral Allen met with employees who work on the system, participated in a program review and toured the Rescue 21 production facility," the company said.
"With every rescue made and life saved, we are seeing the return on our investment in Rescue 21," Allen said. "Rescue 21 is helping the Coast Guard take the 'search' out of search and rescue. We're proud of the strong partnership we have developed with General Dynamics to put this vital lifesaving tool into the hands of Coast Guard men and women."
"The Coast Guard recently announced acceptance of Rescue 21 at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, Fla., bringing total system deployment to 11 regions, including Atlantic City and Eastern Shore, N.J.; Mobile, Ala., St. Petersburg, Fla., and Port Angeles and Seattle, Wash.," General Dynamics said.
"The Rescue 21 system is also covering the waters of Delaware Bay, Del., Long Island Sound, N.Y., New York City and Hampton Roads, Va. In addition, it's providing coverage in a critical area of New Orleans where the system was installed early in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In total, Rescue 21 is providing life-saving communication coverage of more than 12,700 miles of coastline," the company said.
"Once fully implemented, Rescue 21 will provide communications along the U.S. coastline, Great Lakes region, Hawaii, Guam and San Juan. The system is expected to be complete in 2011 and will replace the Coast Guard's aging National Distress and Response system built in the 1970s,' the company said.
General Dynamics said its C4 Systems business unit was "the prime contractor for the Rescue 21 program."